Grant Associates leads on the delivery of landscape plans for ecological logistics park

By Nick Batten on 3 September, 2021

Bath-based landscape architect Grant Associates is leading on the delivery of the ecological landscape design and environmental planning for Magna Park in Lutterworth [Leicestershire], one of Europe’s largest distribution locations.

The landscape design of the expanded 550 acre site will feature a clear focus on biodiversity, habitat enhancement and close integration and accessibility to the wider community.

The latest phase for Magna Park will provide a strong fusion of interwoven infrastructure, landscape, ecology and community facilities, designed to enhance the first phase of planting and large wetland areas that are already starting to become established.

The vision is to create a truly green logistics park with spaces for wildlife, people, agriculture, innovation, education, recreation and play spaces – as well as open spaces for people to engage with the wider countryside and become immersed in nature.

Grant Associates has played a central role in the development of Magna Park since 2014, supporting developer GLP’s aspiration for the development of a high-quality, sustainable site that responds positively to the geographical, political and economic context of the site.

The practice is working alongside architects Chetwoods and Stephen George Partnership for Magna North and Magna South respectively, as well as Bath-based environmental consultants Nicholas Pearson Associates, which has overseen the landscape and visual impact assessment for the site.

To date, over 1 million square metres of total habitat has been created at the Magna Park site, including 619,540 square metres of woodland area and 266,000 square metres of wildflower meadow area. Over half a million hedging plants, shrubs and transplants have been planted, alongside 138,000 wetland, marginal and aquatic plants.

The landscape framework consists of three primary interconnected strategies: a centralised ecology park focused on ecological enhancement (including SuDS wetlands, waterbodies woodlands and wildflower grasslands), a retained agricultural heart (facilitating the continued integration of grazing for arable use) and an extensive network of green corridors which connect the park with the landscape to the north, south and east of the development parcels.

Peter Chmiel, Director at Grant Associates said, “The landscape vision and landscape-led masterplan for Magna Park, Lutterworth is shaped by the principles of a holistic and integrated strategy for the provision of green infrastructure, habitat creation and the sensitive integration of the proposed development in its surroundings. Magna Park continues to set new standards for logistics parks, particularly in terms of environmental land management and stewardship, holistic design, occupier efficiency and job creation.

“This is a rare opportunity to provide a critical mass to biodiversity species and a highly focused approach has really enriched the site through gainings in true greenery, with significant percentages of the site being dedicated to species-rich wetlands, meadows and reafforestation.”

Pictured above: an aerial view of Magna Park